Midwest spring floods caused record Mississippi runoff into the Gulf of Mexico, not just a surge of silt-laden fresh water pushing out into the sea, but a mixture of fertilizers, chemicals like Roundup, and industrial wastes. The result: 2nd largest “dead zone” on record expanding into shrimpers and fishing areas, a dead zone still growing.
Associated Press reports, 279 dolphins have been found on Gulf beaches this spring, 3 times normal; 98% of those stranded died. Suspicion for the animals' death is focused not just on the extreme influx of fresh waster, but of lingering effects from oil spills in the Gulf, including the BP spill “contained” in 2010, but which continues to devastate the region. As of this week, 121 dolphins had been stranded along beaches in Mississippi, 89 in Louisiana, 32 in Alabama and another 37 along the Gulf coast of Florida.